Archive for March, 2012


Real:

“Shoulda…Coulda…Will Do.”

John 16; Romans 8:1-2; Galatians 6:10; Colossians 4:5

If we are “real” and honest with ourselves, guilt often hits us more for the things we don’t do rather than the things that we do. You know the “I should’ve done this.” or “I should’ve done that.” Why is that? Maybe because there is a verygood chance that what we “do” is seen or heard by someone other than us. But unless we tell someone, we are the only one who knows what we don’t do…what is on our mind…what we feel prompted to do…the only one who knows what God has placed on our heart. If you notice, the “shoulda – coulda – woulda – didn’t”s refer to the past, not the future. What we do, and don’t do, in the future is up to us.

Challenge: Romans 8:1-2 tells us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”(NIV) It is that same Holy Spirit that intercedes on our behalf to the Father but also guides us, helps us, and was sent to make known to us what is from Christ. (John 16) “Hello,” said our conscience, the Holy Spirit. Galatians 6:10 tells us “…as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.” And Colossians 4:5 challenges us to, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. “ We never know when God is going to throw an opportunity our way that, depending on how we respond, could change someone’s life forever.

Prayer: Lord, looking back there have been so many times in my life I feel like I missed opportunities that You placed in my path. Forgive me. Please give me Your eyes, ears, and heart so I will be open to your divine appointments and recognize the opportunity and Your hand in all situations. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The mission of Servant Warrior Ministries is to reach guys, from 5 to 105, where they are to impact and empower them to be who God created and called them to be. For more information go to www.servantwarriorministries.org.


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March 11, 2012

Relevant:

“The Struggle…Revisited”

Romans 7:19

If I hear anyone saying that being a Christian is easy, I wonder whether they are living in the same world I am. I never will question anyone’s faith as our testimony is the ONE thing that can never be questioned. What Christ has done in the life of an individual is something no one can question…even though it happens more often than it should. However, being a follower of Christ, dying to Him daily, and doing what we know we want to do and are supposed to do is something that is not easily accomplished given the inherent nature of sin that resides in all of us. The apostle Paul, the author of 13 books in the Bible, faced the same struggles as we do today with doing what we know we shouldn’t and don’t want to do in spite of our relationship and love of Christ. In the book of Romans, Paul got very real with his fellow Gentiles when he said, “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” (Romans 7:18-19 NLT) We beat ourselves up when we do something we know we shouldn’t and often feel we should “pack up and go home” in regards to our walk with Christ because a voice we hear says, “a Christian doesn’t live that way…or do that. You’re a poser…a fake…a hypocrite. You can’t impact anyone for the Kingdom.” That, my friends, is the voice of the THE liar and comes directly from the pit of Hell. Ineffective and worthless to the Kingdom is exactly what the devil wants us to hear…and believe…because if we believe him, we no longer pose a threat. Don’t listen to him. Tell him to sell that somewhere else because we know in Whom our victory lies. Remind the devil that we know how the story ends.

Challenge:   One of the most effective tactics of the enemy is to remind us how far we fall short of perfection…of a sinless life. There has been only One who has lived a sinless life on this earth…and none of us are Him. Remember, God’s word tell us, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.” (Romans 3:24-25a). “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for loving us…in spite of us. We fall so short of Your glory. Yet You still see us as holy…all because of Your Son, Jesus. Lord, give us the strength to call on Your name when the evil one attacks us with lies and deception as the devil has to flee when we call on Your name. Thank you for Your assurance of victory and everlasting life…all through Jesus Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.    

“The Struggle…Revisited” is a re-post from October 2011.

For more information about Servant Warrior Ministries, visit www.servantwarriorministries.org.   

Quantity v. Quality

Posted: March 2, 2012 in Articles

Hello, March. The year is in full swing. Shamrock fields are a bloom. St Patrick, a true servant warrior in every respect, is on everyone’s mind. And our schedules are jumbled, tight, hectic, and overwhelming. Guess what…that’s life. We all get 24 hours a day and will give account for how we use them. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:15-17 to “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is.” But in our “burning the candles at both ends” lifestyle…when do we have time to hear what the Lord’s will is for our lives? When do we have time to hear the Lord at all? Bottom line: In order to hear Him and recognize His prompting, we have to be with Him. And being with Him must extend beyond the few minutes we may have taken over the past few days to read our…‘5 Minute Bible’.  More and more we are trying to squeeze God into our schedules rather than being open and receptive to His. God-moments and messages come when He deems it appropriate. If we are not alert and ready to hear Him when He speaks, we’ll miss them.

Quiet time is defined as the time we spend in prayer and communication with our heavenly Father. If we are truly honest with ourselves, quiet time is likely to better resemble the few minutes, when we can spare it or remember it, that we jam in between something we are likely late for or looking towards, to turn off the radio, TV, computer, or put down the iPhone and read a short devotional and/or a verse or two…perhaps even throw some prayers  upward (usually a want list or requests for Him to change something or others)and then wait ever so (im)patiently for the Lord to answer us, in a clear and audible voice, of course, because we only have a few minutes left in the allotted “quiet time”. For those times we grab a quiet few minutes in the car between appointments and/or in route to somewhere important, an audible response from God is certainly desirable or one via billboard, burning bush, or some mega-phenomenon/life changing and cataclysmic occurrence that somehow no one else sees but us…but one that we can definitively pin our God-focused lifestyle and/or directional change to so when someone asks, we have a really cool answer (reason) to share with them. That is not to say that I don’t believe “Road to Damascus” experiences still occur. I believe they do.  What I don’t believe is that they occur when it fits nicely into a time slot or a schedule…of ours.

I have heard more times than I can count that quality time is more important than quantity time. I could not disagree more with that statement and approach. The longer I am on this spinning rock, I am absolutely convinced, especially as a parent, that life cannot be scripted. We don’t get the opportunity to dictate when our kids will say their first words, take their first step, get their first base hit, or say or do the coolest thing we have ever seen (which is daily, by the way). We have to be there when it happens. Life, as a whole, happens the same way. The greatest, most rewarding, fulfilling, exciting, unbelievable God-facilitated moments happen when we least expect them…and experiencing them, you guessed it, require us being there.

 Ever heard the phrase “priming the pump”? I just love that saying and use it often when talking to groups and companies, both for-profit and not-for-profit   ones, about selling, donor cultivation, relationship building, etc… In essence,  you just have to keep pumping that lever over…and over…and over…and  over…because you never know when the well is going to produce water.  But, you had better be ready with a bucket when it does. It’s no different with hearing God’s subtle messages, realizing God-moments, and sensing His nudges. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 we are told to “pray continually”. I love the Message version of, “Pray all the time.” While it says the same thing, there’s just something about it I can relate to. Maybe it’s that I can’t hear a southern preacher saying, “Pray continually.” But I sure can hear one saying, with a smooth southern draw, “Pray all the TIME.” You can hear it too, huh. Anyway, let me do a little translating of that verse. It doesn’t mean kneeling at an altar or bowed with our hands together 24/7.  I take it to simply mean that God wants us to talk with Him…all the time. He wants us to maintain an open line of communication with Him. Important point: Communication is a two way street. Even more important point: God gave us two ears and only one mouth, so we should…yep…listen twice as much as we speak. I know. I’m with you. It’s really tough for me, too.

God doesn’t need us to fulfill His perfect plan and will. But He wants the best for us and wants us to experience all that He has in store for our lives. If we choose to follow Him…to listen to Him…we are the ones who benefit and experience an awesome and exciting life fulfilled when we give it up and jump into the raging river of God’s grace, love, and plan for our lives. It’s amazing how, if we will simply stop fighting and go with it, that raging river’s current will actually hold us above the surface and give us the ride of our lives. Until next time, keep it real…and Armor Up!

The above article appeared in the March 2012 Issue of Power Source Magazine, www.powersourcemagazine.com. Download the article HERE.